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Bristol Network Partners Connect First Users To 10Gbps FTTP Broadband

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Bristol Network uses council-owned ducts to provide 10Gbps capacity for wholesale ISPs

The first organisations in Bristol have been connected to a 10Gbps fibre to the premise (FTTP) network in the south west city.

Bristol Network is run by a partnership comprising Net Support UK and ITS Technology Group, which was awarded a 20 year licence to build and operate city-wide FTTP infrastructure using council-owned ducts.

Bristol City Council issued the licence in the hope of strengthening its ambition to become a smart city and attract more creative and digital companies to the area.

Bristol City Council

Ashton Gate Bristol“As a leading digital city, The Bristol Network and the collaboration with Bristol City Council is imperative to drive forward a programme of change throughout the city,” said Gavin Beckett, Head of Digital Transformation, Bristol City Council. “This project dovetails perfectly into our smart city and ‘Internet of Things’ initiatives.”

At present, the network consists of 75km of duct infrastructure, of which 58km is unused, and there are plans to extend this to more than 180km.

“The network is quickly being utilised by the type of businesses and organisations that Bristol is so proud of,” explained Roy Shelton, CEO of ITS Technology Group. “We have worked hard with our local partners to design and roll out the network to areas which continue to be underserved and starved of robust ultrafast broadband.

Smart city ambitions

“Working in partnership with Bristol City Council and our partners the network will continue to evolve to be the largest and only council supported network in Bristol. The network will also form the basis for further digital inclusion and innovative solutions to be deployed via our wider global technology partners.”

One of the wholesale partners, Spectrum Internet, has now connected Yogscast and Spike Island, two local digital companies, to the infrastructure.

“We have a number of business customers in Bristol with high bandwidth requirements due to the nature of their work,” said Jonathan Griffin, head of sales at Spectrum Internet. “In the case of Yogscast, they also had tight timescales to meet which we could only achieve by using The Bristol Network.

“The pricing structure is straight forward and it is easy for us to upgrade any of our customers’ circuits up to 10Gbps capacity if needed. The Bristol Network has been designed specifically for this era of digital growth.”

CityFibre, a rival FTTP operator, is building a 1Gbps network in Bristol and has partnered with local ISP Triangle Networks.

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